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Home » World » New Covid Variant: Do Vaccines Work Against Omicron? What Moderna, Pfizer And Others Know So Far

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New Covid Variant: Do Vaccines Work Against Omicron? What Moderna, Pfizer And Others Know So Far

As per preliminary studies conducted on the new variant, Omicron makes vaccines 40 per cent less effective. Here’s what the vaccine makers are saying:

Do Vaccines Work Against Omicron?
The Vaxzevria vaccine has received a conditional marketing authorisation or emergency use approval in over 90 countries. Image for representation. (Source: Pexels)

New Delhi: As the new coronavirus strain, named Omicron by the World Health Organisation (WHO), raises alarm across the world pharmaceutical companies behind some of the key COVID-19 vaccines have expressed confidence that they will be able to rapidly adapt their jabs if the variant spreads.

The new Omicron variant was first reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO) from South Africa on Wednesday and has also been identified in Botswana, Belgium, Hong Kong and Israel. As per preliminary studies conducted on the new variant, it makes vaccines 40 per cent less effective. Here’s what the vaccine makers are saying:

Moderna

The US-based pharmaceutical company has said it has advanced a “comprehensive strategy to anticipate new variants of concern” since early 2021 – including three levels of response if the immunity offered by its jabs wanes. is studying two booster shots candidates designed to anticipate mutations similar to the Omicron Covid-19 variant. The examination is being done to check mutations similar to the Omicron Covid-19 variant, reported Sputnik.

ALSO READ: New Covid Variant Threat: PM Modi Directs Review Of Plans To Ease International Travel

Pfizer and BioNTech

In a statement released on Friday, Pfizer and BioNTech said they expect more data on Omicron within the next two weeks. Based on the data, the companies will be decided if the B.1.1.529 could be “an escape variant” that will require an adjustment of their vaccine if the variant spreads globally. “In the event that vaccine-escape variant emerges, Pfizer and BioNTech expect to be able to develop and produce a tailor-made vaccine against that variant in approximately 100 days, subject to regulatory approval.”

Novavax

Novavax said it has already started creating a COVID-19 vaccine based on the known genetic sequence of B.1.1.529 “and will have it ready to begin testing and manufacturing within the next few weeks”.

AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca said it was examining the impact of the new variant on its vaccine and its antibody cocktail. The pharma company was hopeful its combination drug would retain efficacy. “As with any new emerging variants, we are looking into B.1.1.529 to understand more about it and the impact on the vaccine,” AstraZeneca said in a statement. It was also conducting research in Botswana and Eswatini to collect data.

ALSO READ: New Covid Variant Omicron ‘Not A Disaster’, Vaccination Likely To Protect: Top UK Scientist

Johnson & Johnson

Johnson and Johnson has said it is testing the effectiveness of its vaccine against Omicron variant. “We are closely monitoring newly emerging Covid-19 virus strains with variations in the Sars-CoV-2 spike protein and are already testing the effectiveness of our vaccine against the new and rapidly spreading variant first detected in Southern Africa,” CNN quoted Clare Boyle, a Johnson & Johnson spokesperson.

ALSO READ: Another Covid Variant Ahead Of New Year, How To Tackle The New Challenge? 

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